Campbell Recreation Area

Monday was not only free ice cream cone day at Dairy Queen …

It was gorgeous out! It was in the 80′ s and we checked out Campbell Recreation Area in Clive.

Campbell Recreation Area

Campbell Recreation Area is located at 12385 Woodlands Parkway. It is nestled back into a residential area. It is a huge park (34 acres), with lots to do!

There are two different playground available to play on. One is smaller for kids under age 5 years, although if you are older than 5 years, you are okay to play on it.

There is a larger playground for kids over 5 years. Monte who is only 3 years spent most of his time playing on this one. There is lots of climbing and a few tall slides.

The park had a large open air shelter with several picnic tables. It was a nice place to sit, cool off and have a snack. There are grills available too. You can rent this shelter here for different events.

If you are interested in grilling and gathering in a shady area a little ways from the park, there is a small gazebo available with tables and a grill. You cannot rent the gazebo.

My favorite part of the park was the large open fields. There is plenty of room to play football, catch, roll around, kick a ball, etc. Bring a large blanket and have a picnic!

This park is not only perfect for children, but it’s for adults too! There are three adult softball fields, two sand volleyball courts, a basketball court AND three tennis courts.

Greenbelt Bike Trail also goes pass Campbell Recreation Area and there are detours off of it that lead into the park.

This is another park you can plan a day to spend at! Make sure to check it out this Spring and Summer!

Colby Park

This past week was absolutely gorgeous out. We spent pretty much everyday outside! We also checked out a new park … Colby Park in Windsor Heights.

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Colby Park is an awesome park and has a lot to offer. It is nestled behind the Wal-Mart and in a residential neighborhood. It’s exact address is 69th and School Streets.

There are LOTS of slides and two separate playgrounds to play on. There are also lots of swings, items to sit and bounce on, and a climbing wall!

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I love the amount of open fields there are and picnic tables available. It is a perfect park to spend the entire day! Pack a lunch or snack! There is also a tennis court and baseball diamond available to play on, if you get tired of playing on the playground.

Another awesome feature is the Walnut Creek Trail that leads into the park. After you are done playing, you can get on the trail and go exploring! You could even ride your bike! If you follow the trail underneath the interstate, you will go by a special dog park. So make sure you bring your furry friend with you!

Colby Park is the main park for Windsor Heights and hosts lots of events through out the year. You will also find the Windsor Heights Community Center, which is HUGE and beautiful. You can rent this facility for a fee. It is a great place to host wedding receptions, birthday parties and more! On the back side of the center, are the bathrooms which our clean and very nice to use when you are at the park! I felt very comfortable taking all the kids in there for potty breaks 🙂

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There is soo much to do at Colby Park. Lots of playing and exploring can be done. Even babies have fun too! 🙂

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Make sure to put Colby Park on your bucket list to check out this Spring and Summer!

Colored Rice & Noodles

I love sensory play! There are so many different ideas on Pinterest. There is no right or wrong way creating a sensory activity. The best part is, you usually have everything in your home OR it’s super cheap to pick up the few items you may need.

One of our favorite sensory activities is playing with colored rice.

This is normally an outdoor activity for us. We did the rice sensory play inside once and well … it was a mess! I was still vacuuming rice up a month later! I know some lay down a large towel or tablecloth to “catch” the rice and that works for them. My son likes to get a little wild, so we keep it as an outdoor activity 🙂

Noodles are great to dye also. You can use them for sorting, making necklaces, throw in a large bin, and more. It is SUPER easy to dye everything at once. You could also dye oats and sand, but I chose to just stick to rice and noodles today. This entire process was about 30 minutes long and it could even take less time, if you have kiddos to help!

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  1. Place your noodles and rice into gallon bags. Just eyeball a good amount. I put about 3 cups of rice into each bag and about 2 cups of noodles in each bag. 
  2. Place about 2-3 Tablespoons of alcohol into the bags.
  3. Squirt 2-3 drops of food coloring. You may want to add more in a bit.
  4. Seal the bags. Make sure they are sealed well or it will be a mess!
  5. Begin shaking! This is where the kids can help.
  6. If the colors are not bright enough for you, add more food coloring.
  7. You can now open the bags and let them dry out, or spread onto parchment paper. I keep them sealed overnight, then let them dry out the next morning. This allows the color to sit a bit longer.
  8. HAVE FUN!

Check out my other fun sensory activities and ideas!

  1. Red Activity Box
  2. Fall Sensory Bin
  3. Sensory Board

Rhockett Retreat 2015

Have you heard of Rhockett Weaving or the Rhockett Retreat?

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If you are a babywearer you NEED to check it out. Rhockett Weaving is owned and operated by Rhonda Brackett. After she fell in love with babywearing and discovered it was a necessity in her life, she began creating her own signature style wraps. She also takes custom orders, if you are wanting something really special.

This April, is the very first Rhockett Retreat. This is a place where people come together, who love wrapping as much as you! There will be good food, henna from Alternative Artistry, babywearing yoga, babywearing art, campfires & s’mores, and MORE!

There will be classes through out the the three-day, two-night event including weaving, dyeing fabric and learning different wrapping instructions. You can also check out some awesome local vendors such as Finnabug Bags, Starbright Baby, and Alternative Artistry.

The Rhockett Retreat is being held …

Friday, April 24th through Sunday, April 26th

You can come by yourself, you can come with your little one OR you can bring the entire family. Not everyone needs to attend all the fun classes, but there will be no child supervision provided. There is also a charge for each additional person, to cover room and board.

This years Rhockett Retreat is being held in Ogden, Iowa. You can choose to stay the entire time or drive for only the day on Saturday and/or Sunday. You can register here for whatever option you choose! If you register for the entire retreat you will receive a FREE swag bag!

To help get everyone excited about this fun babywearing retreat, we are doing a GIVEAWAY!

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One lucky winner will win a waldorf inspired babywearing doll created from Rhockett Weaving scraps!

OUR BABY SHOWER

The contest begins TODAY and will end Friday, March 13th! I will post the winner on my Facebook page. Good luck!

YMCA Preschool Programs: Tumble Tots

I love the YMCA they have so much to offer! I cannot wait until they build the new Northwest YMCA so all of their awesome resources are a bit closer to home.

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YMCA has some awesome classes for different ages, that you must register for. I decided to sign Monte up for Tumble Tots because he absolutely loves running around, climbing, and bouncing. This class ended up being perfect for him!

YMCA Preschool Programs

Tumble Tots is for ages 3 to 5 years old with an accompanied adult. It is slightly structured, but not too much. Monte likes to do his own thing and does not have much patience, so the fact that there is not much structure, is nice.

Tumble Tots always opens up with stretching, which the instructors make lots of fun! They have the kids act like animals, pretend they are in space, and other scenarios that get their imaginations rolling. They also sometimes do “sit-ups” and running around the gym (Monte’s favorite). Afterwards, the kids are free to run around to the different stations and play. The instructors walk around and help at each station. They show the kids different things they can do.

They have a trampoline.

A balance beam to walk on.

A spring board to jump from.

Tunnel to crawl through.

They also have tumbling mats, a bar to swing and hang from, and mats to help you learn how to do a cartwheel!

Tumble Tots is a 4-week class and it is $15 for members, $35 for non-member.

Tumble Tots and other programs/sports the YMCA offers are a perfect way to introduce your toddler to new activities and sports. It is very affordable and the classes last a short-period of time. If they are not interested, then you know that it isn’t the way to go, before spending a lot of money for a long term program/sport.

They also offer:

Tiny Tumblers 18 months – 3 years

Fun & Fit 3-5 years

Kids in the Kitchen 3-5 years

Music & Movement 2-5 years

Tiny Chefs 18 months- 3 years

Moving with Music 18 months – 3 years

 I highly recommend checking out all the classes the YMCA has to offer. Not only do they have classes for toddlers, but they also offer classes for grade school children and adults! Check out here for their online registration where you can search for a class and register all online!

BabyGuyNYC: MommyCon 2015

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If you have not seen yet … I am giving away two FREE tickets to MommyCon Minneapolis which is being held on April 18th!

Giveaway!-2Link to blog post, to enter!

One of the rules to this giveaway is for you to comment, what you are looking forward to the most. A lot of you are looking forward to seeing BabyGuyNYC!

I was lucky to see him last year, at MommyCon Chicago and LOVED him! He is so funny and knows sooooo much.

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Those of you who do not know or have never heard of Jamie Grayson aka BabyGuyNYC, let me tell you the top 3 reasons why you should be looking forward to seeing him!

  1. He is funny and entertaining! He has a BFA in Acting and a Minor in English. Before he began his gig as “baby guru” , he acted in theaters, and traveled on a cruise ship.
  2. He knows everything baby! From strollers to breast pumps. He started off as a product demonstrator at Buy Buy Baby in New York City. After awhile, he began doing his own research about every known baby product and was even recommending to Buy Buy Baby what to sell. He also did personal shops, with expecting parents and was booked 2-4 months in advance! Everyone wanted to know what The Baby Guy had to recommend.
  3. Not only has he worked at Buy Buy Baby he has also worked at RealBirth in New York City. He worked with doulas and lactation consultants. This allowed him to give more knowledge and insight beyond the products. He is knowledgable about childbirth and the parenting process.

The Baby Guy has been featured and can be found pretty much anywhere in the baby world including:

  • “Gear Guy” for Strollertraffic.com
  • New York Times
  • Fit Pregnancy
  • American Baby
  • The LA Times
  • The Seattle Times
  • Babble
  • Cool Mom Picks
  • OH Baby Magazine
  • Drool Baby Expo
  • MommyCon (yay!)
  • Brooklyn Baby Expo
  • Big City Moms
  • And MORE!

You can follow The Baby Guy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

He also sends out a newsletter, which you can sign up for here!

Make sure to check out the Baby Guy Gear Guide for more information about him, events, products, and more!

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Every Family Rocks 2015!

We checked out Every Family Rocks! this past weekend and well, it ROCKED!

Monte and the entire family had a blast! Not only was the entire Science Center open to roam through, but there was also live music, crafts, jugglers, balloon animals, face painting and more!

Every Family Rocks! is a family fun event and concert for all ages. This event benefits EFR Employee & Family Resources. It was free for Science Center members, $8 for ages 2-12, $13 for Adults & $8 for Seniors.

There were some awesome bands and singers. I loved all the upbeat music and all the movement, from all the kids! Everyone was dancing and hula hooping around 🙂 Artists included:

Monte loved the Sparkle Hula Hoop dance, balloon animals and magic from Jonathan May, and trying all the different instruments available from Rieman Music Interactive Music Booth.

There were also some great craft stations such as a DIY yarn streamer and animal rocks.

We had so much fun and Monte was definitely exhausted after we left! We are looking forward to next year’s Every Family Rocks!

RoCA

Since this is Midwest Mom & WIFE … let’s talk about an awesome place to check out for date night 🙂

Travis and I were lucky to have someone watch our kiddos Saturday night for Valentine’s Day. We decided we would go downtown and check out the new restaurant RoCA!

They had delicious food, drinks and wine! Travis and I are big wine drinkers so we bought a bottle of Syrah. Our bartender was very knowledgable in wine and drinks. I actually learned a bit about wine while we were there.

We also tried the Smoking Gun cocktail. Travis and I are not big bourbon drinkers, but we were intrigued on how the drink was made! They take an old bourbon bottle that has a little bourbon and maple syrup on the bottom. Then they pump smoke into the bottle. When the cocktail is brought to you, you let the smoke sit and after a few minutes you pour the drink into your cocktail glass. It has a very smokey flavor. It was something new and different!

RoCA is known for their shared plates, boards, and schpreads. I am a huge cheese lover, especially when we are drinking wine! We ordered the Combine Meat & Cheese Board. Oh my goodness, it was perfect! There was goat cheese, blue cheese, pastrami, pickled cucumbers, nuts, and more. It was perfect! We also split the Smoked Mac & Cheese, which was delish also!

RoCA is the perfect date night spot! The atmosphere is fun, the staff is knowledgeable and the food & drinks are delicious!

Great Cloth Diaper Change: MommyCon Minneapolis

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Have you ever heard of or participated in the Great Cloth Diaper Change?! If you are a cloth diaper lover, this is an annual event for you!

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If you are attending MommyCon Minneapolis on Saturday, April 18th, YOU can participate in the 5th annual Great Cloth Diaper Change with everyone at MommyCon. All Things Diapers is helping coordinate the details of this event.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change is when everyone gets together on the same date and time every year and changes a cloth diaper. Last year, there were participates on 6 different continents and the world record was broken. There were 188 events hosted all over and 8,459 babies were changed.

This year, they are hoping to break that record AGAIN!

The purpose of the Great Cloth Diaper Change is to spread the word about the many benefits of cloth diapering. There are financial, health, environmental, convenience and other benefits that make cloth diapering great!

Keep your eyes open for even more details for the MommyCon Minneapolis, Great Cloth Diaper Change. It is another reason for you to go!

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Disney Jr. Live! 2015

Monte experienced his first, live show on Sunday! When we heard Disney Jr. Live! was coming to town we KNEW we had to purchase tickets to take Monte. I was a little worried about how well he would do sitting there, but once the show began, I knew there was nothing to worry about.

This tour was the Disney Jr. Live! Pirate and Princess Adventure. Monte LOVES Jake and the Neverland Pirates. He loves anything pirates right now. We dressed him up like Jake and he looked adorable!

At the beginning of the show, while everyone is getting seated and adjusted, Doc McStuffins comes out with her toy “Monte” the Monster Truck (what a coincidence!) 🙂 All the children helped Doc make her truck feel better.

Of course, Mickey and Minnie Mouse were there! They helped introduce the princesses and pirates!

The first half of the show was Sofia the First and all the princesses, including Cinderella!

The second half of the show was Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Peter Pan!

Monte enjoyed dancing, singing and getting involved in all the stories.

If you have not taken your children to a live show before, I think this one would be perfect.

WARNING: Be prepared to spend a ridiculous amount of extra money on light up toys, snow cones and food :/